Watches and Wonders 2023: New Rolex Daytona

Watches and Wonders 2023: New Rolex Daytona

All eyes were on the Daytona  during the opening day of Watches and Wonders 2023.  What did Rolex have in store for the iconic chronograph’s 60th anniversary?  Thankfully, the case is still 40mm.  However, Rolex did thin the case down a bit and refined some of the features on the dial.  Additionally, the Daytona was finally treated to a shiny new movement after over twenty years of relying on the caliber 4130 and now sports a metal-trimmed ceramic bezel.  Let’s take a quick look at the “new” Daytona and what differentiates it from the 1165XX series that just entered retirement.

Rolex Daytona 126506

Photo Credit: Rolex

The Movement: Caliber 4131

Rolex introduced the first new in-house Daytona movement since 2000, the caliber 4131.  According to Rolex, the new movement has fewer parts than its predecessor and now features a Chronergy escapement, a different Rolex Côtes de Genève decoration, and a new Perpetual rotor.  It has the same 72-hour power reserve and Paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring for the same singularly reliable reading we’ve always relied on, but is now much more efficient.


New Ceramic Bezel Trimmed in Metal

All Daytona models in the new collection outfitted with a ceramic bezel - aka Cerachrom - now feature metal trim in the same material as the case.  There is already a lot of speculation as to why Rolex decided to include this design element, such as an homage of sorts to the inaugural model or to protect the ceramic material from chipping.

Rolex Daytona 126500

Photo Credit: Rolex

The Dial

Rolex made a few noteworthy changes to the dial as well, described by the brand as a “new graphic balance.” The rings surrounding the chronograph registers have been thinned down and feature a snailed texture.  Of course, the Chromalight hour markers are still trimmed in white gold on the Oystersteel and white gold models and other precious metals to match the rest of the collection. They also appear to have been thinned down to achieve a very refined appearance.

2023 Rolex Daytona 126500 White Dial

Photo Credit: Rolex

Exhibition Case Back

Last but certainly not least, we have the exhibition case back.  Yes, that’s right.  For the first time in Daytona history, the platinum model has an exhibition case back, a move that we can only guess coordinates with the new movement’s Rolex Côtes de Genève decoration and a growing trend on the market for watches that sport transparent case backs.  Speaking even further about the case, Rolex has slimmed down the profile by about .5mm and has refined the lugs for a more even and balanced appearance.

Rolex Caliber 4131

Photo Credit: Rolex

That’s it for the Daytona this year.  What do you think of the new lineup?

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